Written answers

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Department of Health

National Children's Hospital

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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331. To ask the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 247 of 12 December 2019, if the new national children's hospital facial recognition camera system will be provided with an existing database of facial images available for matching purposes [53805/19]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The safety of patients, visitors and staff at the new children’s hospital is of paramount importance to everyone working on the new children’s hospital project. 

Less than 3% of the cameras procured for the new children’s hospital have the potential for high definition facial recognition capabilities. These cameras have many capabilities and can also be used in the same way as the remaining 97% of the cameras, which do not have facial recognition capabilities.   

Only the hardware (the cameras) have been procured at this stage in the project. Without procurement of additional software, facial recognition capability is not possible.

It has not yet been decided which aspect of the security systems’ capabilities will be used. This decision will be taken nearer the opening of the hospital by Children’s Health Ireland and will be fully in line with Irish and European data protection and privacy legislation and guidelines, to ensure that the occupants of the hospital have the appropriate protections and security afforded to them, in line with their privacy rights. 


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